Archive of an Odysseus

Archiv eines Irrfahrers

There are people who know where they want to go and do not arrive. There are people who do not know where they want to go and but stiill they arrive, but do not know any more why they wanted to go.

In “Archive of an Odysseus“, biographic fragments based on the decade-long wanderings of Odysseus are composed and presented. Visitors receive and hear files from the archive. From human data carriers they present and enter data in the archive from an interview booth.

According to the principle ´Biography is Geography´ an anonymized archive grows up askew through the various paths of life, it tells of odysseys, of supposed causalities and coincidences, and of moments of life´s departure, arrival, and fate.

When the Phaeacian king – on whose shores Odysseus was stranded – requests him to recount his adventures, overwhelmed he replies: “With what should I begin; with what I would tell you last?” His mistake is obvious: it does not depend on the chronology, but on the classification.

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CONCEPT Turbo Pascal BY AND WITH Maria Böhling, Angela Löer, Veit Merkle, Frank Oberhäußer, Luis Pfeiffer, Eva Plischke, Camilla Schlie

Project semester Antike intermedial from Universität Hildesheim 2004, adapted for the Rahmen program rePUBLICaction of the Festival Theaterformen 2004


ARCHIVE facilities for systematic acquisition, retaining and supervision of documents. An archive is easily confused for other facilities. The distinction: a museum collects, a library acquires, an archive records.

BIOGRAPHY PC BIOS and graphs. Prosaic records of exterior events or an attempt at exploring a path in life, a depiction of coherent experiences, or of life as a totality.

FILE A topic for all acquired biographical fragments in the Odysseus archive.

DATA CARRIER 1) Recording medium for information 2) In the case of a theatre archive: personnel who save files in memory and perform verbally as well as non-verbally. Also: Dateienmonolog

NULLIFICATION Destruction of documents not acquired by the archive.

CAUSALITY PRINCIPLE precept whereby for every occurrence it is essential that a cause is presumed. Compulsion determines to produce coherencies and to search life-events based on patterns, also when there are none to hand.

PLOY An approach to problems, which by application of mental power out weighs the application of physical strength.

A MOLE’S EXISTENCE Digging in one´s own dirt.

STORM A weather location can be provoked by the gods Zeus, Poseidon, Aeolus. A storm can cause one to end up somewhere, without at all wishing it.

ODYSSEUS-ARCHIV Project for sysematic acquisition, retaining and supervision of documents.

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